I decided to attend the Mars vs. Venus relationship panel discussion Thursday. As I sat digesting the panel’s information, I realized that our cultural methods of dating and forming relationships are inconsistent with modern society.
Gender roles have evolved and, subsequently, so have our methods of dating. This especially applies to women. Our heels have strutted a long way from spending all of our time at home cooking and caring for the children. We have cried with a loud voice and proved that we are capable of providing for ourselves and others. We have successfully changed our role in politics, business, entertainment and other industries. So why is it that when it comes to dating and finances we are still operating as though we’re in the 1920s?
Yes … I went there.
For example, we have brazenly chanted our song of equal rights, self-sufficiency and independence, but to this day men are still expected to pick up the tab for dates. It is understandable for the first date, especially if it was the man who invited the woman. But after it is mutually understood that both parties would like to deepen the relationship and simply bask in the other’s presence, should the man still have to pay?
In a time such as the early 1900s, women either had a hard time finding work or had to settle with low-wage jobs, so it would be unseemly to make them pay for dates. In addition, this was a sign to the woman and her family that the man was a capable provider and could take care of her when they got married. But those conditions are no longer relevant to our present situation. Men and women both provide for the household. As we have fervently made clear, we can do it alone if we have to. So wouldn’t it be more appropriate if the bill were split?
If anything, it exemplifies that the woman is indeed independent and is willing to work with the man as a team instead of feeling as though he should pull her weight, too.
This brings me to my last point. Both genders are provided with equal opportunity now. We’ve got to stop having higher expectations of men than we have for ourselves. I can recall conversing with my friends a couple of years ago about our requirements for our next boyfriend. They consisted of the two popular requirements among that age group: a car and a job. The irony was, my friends and I had neither. Of course, we were young and naÃ¯ve back then, but the fact is that those seeds take root in some women, and they grow into bushes of a false sense of self-worth.
To conclude, none of this is to undermine a man’s pride. If he wants to pay for the date, let him. If a man wants to spoil a woman rotten, why not? But the moral is that we need to forsake the dating and relationship mentality of the past and think of it as more of a team effort. At the end of the day, you’ll probably be more respected and valued for it.